By Kevin Shea
For a large group of voters, the presidential race has taken a turn for the worse. Bernie Sanders dropped out over the summer. The powerful movement led by the Vermont senator crashed, and after months of denial, Senator Sanders bowed out. The end of his campaign left many supporters distraught, and sounded a cacophony inside the Democratic party. The words “rigged” and “cheat” were thrown around in protest, but the fact remains: Bernie is no longer an option.
With tensions at an all-time high and an incredible amount of public hysteria, each day provides the audience with new material to ingest. It is anyone’s guess what will happen between now and November, but with Senator Sanders finally falling to his opponent – Secretary Hillary Clinton – those who once Felt The Bern are required to reanalyze the field and pick a new candidate to stand behind. Voters also have the option to opt out of the voting process. However, with the vast amounts of patriotism emanating from this country, it should be strange for someone to refrain from the process.
For the newly-freed Bernie supporter, there appears to be two major choices to make in November: vote for a man who not only surrounds himself in controversy, but creates it on an almost daily basis, or elect a woman whose career has recently been shrouded in uncertainty and doubt.
Every presidential election provides the media and news outlets with several characters to analyze and pick apart. This election has brought forward all the dirt which had been swept under the carpet. Books, film, TV Shows, and even talk show hosts, have expressed the angst of the general public. But perhaps there should be similar scrutiny placed on the voters. Blame for the condition of our country is often directed towards those who are in power. This year, however, a greater blame and responsibility should be laid upon the shoulders of the citizens of the United States. Our current situation – economic, environmental, educational, health, and in particular cultural – is a result of individual choices including who we chose to be our leaders. To right our wrongs requires an in-depth look into what one wants to see in the future, and what will motivate your final decision in November.
In the many emails we received over the last week in response to my query who you were voting for in lieu of Bernie Sanders (thank you again for all the emails!), I noticed many common trends. The most popular theme amongst the emails was a loathing for Secretary Clinton. However, with Mr. Trump’s influence steadily rising, and November right around the corner, unity amongst the voters is the only way to beat him in the General Election. Despite a vast majority of the respondents commenting on how they would prefer to see Secretary Clinton in the White House as opposed to Mr. Trump, they still insisted they’d be voting for Dr. Jill Stein or Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson – both of whom are single digits in the polls. Such a profound contempt for a candidate is bizarre, considering the lack of evidence to base this disapproval upon.
Perhaps this distrust is founded, but it is important not to simply react in this crucial moment in the United States history. A greater examination at the facts, as opposed to beliefs, should fuel every voter. Unfortunately, childhood parables lead us in our adult endeavors, but to rely on these well into adulthood is foolish to say the least. An unyielding servitude to an idea or judgment effectively prevents conversations or compromises. To be blind to the numbers, confessions, or verdict of a well established truth will be the eventual downfall of any group, organization, or country; this tragedy starts with the individual, which is why personal examination is so important in these upcoming months. Innate prejudices, or passionately fueled opinions blind us. A healthy dose of skepticism is required today where headlines and gossip are read as fact and considered journalism.
As we near November, keep a cool head and push through the muck, mist, and deception and never cease to question what you hear, see or read.